5,000 lbs. of Illegal Fireworks Detonated in LAPD Truck, 17 Injured in Catastrophic Failure

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A massive stockpile of illegal fireworks were seized in Southern LA by the Los Angeles Police Department’s bomb squad Wednesday evening.  The bomb squad were storing the fireworks in an armored truck designed to carry explosives, when they suddenly detonated.

There was a catastrophic failure.  The truck did not contain the blast and 17 were injured on the scene (no life threatening injuries reported), windows were shattered for several blocks in each direction, residential houses had to be evacuated.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said during a press conference Wednesday, “Clearly, protocols were followed and pursued. But something happened in that containment vessel that should not have happened and we don’t know why,” Moore said, according to KNX1070, a news radio station. “But we intend to find out.”

Illegal Firework Cache:

Truck explosion:

The blast was so powerful it lifted entire cars off their wheels. Photo NBCLA


Fireworks are illegal to sell or own in Los Angeles or San Francisco for that matter.  Police were searching the South L.A. home following a tip that the resident of the home had boxes of the explosives at his house.

A 27-year-old resident, Arturo Cejas, was arrested on suspicion of possessing a destructive device, according to The Associated Press. He also may face charges of child endangerment because his 10-year-old brother was in the home.

In May and June alone, law enforcement has confiscated 220,000 pounds of illegal fireworks statewide.

Be careful this 4th of July weekend, please do not handle explosives!  The fire danger is bad enough, not to mention the chance of blowing yourself and others up.   Be safe out there!

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managing editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. I enjoy covering Bay Area News as well as writing about Arts, Culture & Nightlife.

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